Because of the COVID-19 pandemic a series of documentaries is being offered for free from “Oh You Pretty Things” by Gary Hustwit and recently I watched the movie “Rams” about the famous German designer - Dieter Rams. I finally absorbed his 10 design principles that as both Braun and Apple customer (Jonny Ive is a fan of Mr Rams) really resonate with me:
In the movie he said:
Everything interacts and is dependent on other things. We must think more thoroughly about what we are doing, how we are doing it and why we are doing it.
Here are his 10 principles:
1. Good design is INNOVATIVE
Gutes Design ist innovativ
Design always comes about in connection with innovative technology. After all, how can design be good if the technology is not on the same level?
Technological development is always offering new opportunities for original designs.
2. Good design makes a product USEFUL
Gutes Design macht ein Produkt brauchbar
A product is bought to be used. Good design optimizes usefulness and ignores anything that doesn’t serve the purpose or works against it.
3. Good design is AESTHETIC
Gutes Design ist ästhetisch
Objects you use daily significantly shape your personal surroundings and your sense of well-being. Only something that is well-made can be beautiful.
4. Good design makes a product UNDERSTANDABLE
Gutes Design macht ein Produkt verständlich
It clarifies the structure of the product. Even more, it can make the product “talk”. It’s self-explanatory.
5. Good design is UNOBTRUSIVE
Gutes Design ist unaufdringlich
Products that serve a purpose have the characteristics of a tool. They are neither decorative nor works of art. Their design should be neutral and leave room for the user’s self-expression.
6. Good design is HONEST
Gutes Design ist ehrlich
Honest means not trying to make a product look more innovative, powerful or more valuable than it really is.
7. Good design is LONG-LASTING
Gutes Design ist langlebig
In contrast to fashionable design, it lasts many years even in today’s throwaway society.
8. Good design is thorough down TO THE LAST DETAIL
Gutes Design ist konsequent bis ins letzte Detail
Nothing should be arbitrary or left to chance. Thoroughness and precision are expressions of respect for the user.
9. Good design is ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
Gutes Design ist umweltfreundlich
Design makes an important contribution to preserving the environment. It conserves resources and minimizes physical and visual pollution.
10. Good design is AS LITTLE DESIGN AS POSSIBLE
Gutes Design ist so wenig Design wie möglich
Back to simplicity. Back to purity. Less is more. Good design elevates the essential functions of a product.
Less but better.
Weniger aber besser.